According to a recent Fox 32 report that cited Geraldo Rivera gang members in Chicago outnumber police officers by a ratio of 10-1. You can tell this was a very serious report as it cited one of the most respected journalists in the country with a specialization of looking for long lost vaults. Rivera supposedly was actually citing statistics on gang members in Chicago that he heard from Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent David Brown.
This report is proof of why it is so important for elected leaders and criminal justice officials to make sure the are citing only verifiable statistics. Now, in this specific instance this is exactly what Lightfoot and Brown wanted to occur when they cited this bogus statistic. They wanted the media to run wild and report this statistic without forcing them to cite exactly how the determined the number of gang members in Chicago.
This number is most likely generated by the Chicago Police Department and their horrific and broken gang database. ProPublica reporting by Mick Dumke has proven that the CPD has basically no controls over who gets entered in to the database and for what reasons. Some of the gang members listed in the database were well over 100 years old. Simply put the CPD and city officials have absolutely no way to reliably know how many gang members there are in Chicago and neither does the media. But this reality has no stopped the media from continuing to serve as a mega phone on this issue.
Also on our show today:
- FOP Watch Segment: FOP President Public Safety Committee comments
- WBEZ on CPD officer burnout
- CWB Backlog story